Street food

Yum, yum, yum!

A FREQUENT warning to people visiting Mexico is not to eat food from street vendors, advice that I’ve ignored for 17 years, and I haven’t died yet.

This afternoon, sitting at a sidewalk table on the main plaza with a café Americano negro, I hankered for something solid. I narrowed the options down to two.

One was a shrimp cocktail from a street vendor on the small plaza a couple of blocks away. Two was whole-wheat fig bread from another vendor quite near the shrimp stand.

I chose Option Two, the fig bread. That’s it in the photo. I brought it back to my coffee shop sidewalk table and cut into it with my pocketknife, the one you see there.

The fig bread is a great example of an amazing phenomenon you often encounter down here. Persistent food heat. I purchased the fig bread out of a basket. The bread had a cloth covering both it and its compañeros, all awaiting diners.

The vendor likely had left home, or wherever the bread was baked, a couple of hours previously, but the bread was still quite warm as she tucked it into a plastic bag.

I walked the two blocks back to the coffee shop, sat, opened the bag, and the bread was warm still. I cut it in half for the photo. Then I ate a good deal. Still warm.

How do they do that?

After slipping what remained of the bread back into its bag, I was surprised by the sudden appearance of the inimitable Jennifer Rose who sat with me a spell.

I offered her some fig bread, but she declined.

10 thoughts on “Street food

  1. I have been traveling throughout Mexico since 1995. I really enjoy the street food and try as many varieties as available. A little good judgment helps when selecting. BTW I love figs and the fig bread looks great.


  2. Encountering Jennifer must have been a pleasant surprise for you. And fig bread sounds so good. I don’t imagine buying “street food” fig bread is too big a risk.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fig bread sounds (and looks) good. Eat many figs back in the day? I remember fig “preserves,” which were heavenly on a hot buttered biscuit.

    Your knife looks like an ornate Buck. Is it, or just a Mexican knock-off?


    1. Ray: There was a big fig tree in the yard of my maternal grandmother out in the sticks of southwest Georgia. She always made preserves. Oddly, though I’m fond of this fig bread and buy it fairly often, I’m not a fig fan. I don’t like fig preserves at all. I don’t like watermelon either. Some of my redneck genes were not installed in me as a child.

      I bought that knife in the mercado here about a decade ago for only about five bucks. It does not have a brand name on it, but it’s rock solid, and I always have it in my pocket. Very useful.

      And we Mexicans do not make “knock-offs.” We make alternative versions. So there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This reminds me of a funny story in the Houston area. When taco trucks and roadside food stands, run by Mexicans trying to make a living of course, became prevalent there was a big push to shut them down by the restaurant industry. They were lining Hwy. 6 between Sugar Land and Alvin. But when inspectors went to these places their consensus was that they were some of the cleanest establishments in town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bev: We Mexicans are very clean and tidy. Those establishments you mention must have come along after I left. I don’t recall any such thing.

      One of the drawbacks of living in the U.S. is all the rules and regulations.

      I hope those business folks had their green cards. That would have been more of a concern to me than the cleanliness of their food trucks.


  5. As you say, one must use some common sense when getting food from a street cart. Visiting Gringos usually get sick at beach resort towns because they drink too much then go outside and walk up to the first vendor they see, who preys on tourists. You never know what precautions they take, or how long the stuff sits out in the warm climate. It’s not like they have refrigeration going all the time. Because the climate is more moderate, I think, Patzcuaro would have less of a chance of tainted food. The ones who got sick were the ones who think they are protected by their ego.


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